March 19th, 2015

Terminal Ballistics — Video Explains Basic Principles

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

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July 5th, 2013

Cartridge Comparison Guide (2d Ed.) Is Gold Mine of Information

Cartridge Comparison Guide second editionThe updated Second Edition of the Cartridge Comparison Guide is now available. The Cartridge Comparision Guide is the product of many years of labor by Andrew Chamberlain, a Utah-based hunter. Andrew says his Guide “compares every factory available cartridge from the 17 calibers up to the 50 caliber cartridges”. (Sorry, most wildcat cartridges are not covered.) Chamberlain’s Guide also compiles cartridge data from major ammunition manufacturers such as Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. It shows the optimal velocity achieved for each bullet weight and calculates bullet energy, recoil, and powder efficiency.

The Cartridge Comparison Guide provides data for thousands of cartridge/bullet/velocity combos. Charts provide cartridge ballistics including downrange energy. The Second Edition adds 90 more pages devoted to ballistics. The Cartridge Comparison Guide offers a firearms lexicon, plus Appendices covering Cartridge Selection for Game Animals, Bullet Selection/Design, Bullet Expansion, Wound Channel Characteristics and more. In the Second Edition, there is expanded coverage of factory-loaded hunting ammo. The book now provides “100% coverage of all handgun and rifle cartridges produced in the USA by at least two minor factory load sources or one major factory load source.”

New Content in Second Edition of Cartridge Comparison Guide
The Cartridge Comparison Guide (2nd Edition) costs $32.95 plus shipping and tax. This is more pricey than the $24.99 First Edition (which is still for sale), but the latest Cartridge Comparison guide offers considerably more content. Here’s what’s new in the Second Edition:

  • Addition of Shotgun Ammunition (Both Slug and Shot loads).
  • Momentum Calculation for all Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun loads.
  • Integration of Shotgun Slug Ammunition with Center Fire Rifle Data Tables.
  • Factory Load Summary Added (Shows manufacturers and loads produced).
  • One factory load and one hand load for every bullet weight available in each cartridge.
  • Over 90 pages of additional ballistics content (roughly 35% more than in First Edition).

Award-Winning Content
The Cartridge Comparison Guide has been awarded the POMA Pinnacle Award for Excellence. (POMA, the Professional Outdoor Media Association, is the trade association for outdoor writers).

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Cartridge Comparison GuideGreat Resource for Hunters
The Cartridge Comparison Guide’s author wanted to help hunters select the “right cartridge for the job.” Chamberlain states: “This started as a personal project to gather information on the more popular cartridges commonly used for hunting. I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced, standing ballistic data for different environments, etc.” Chamberlain adds: “I wanted to find the best all-around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot.”

Giant Cartridge Poster for Computer Wallpaper (1665×1080 pixels)
Here’s a great illustration of hundreds of cartridges and shotshell types. For dedicated reloaders, this would work great as desktop “wallpaper” for your computer. CLICK HERE for full-size image.

cartridge poster

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »